“Hey Siri.”

“Hello Claire.”

“Who you gonna call?”

“Ghostbusters! (Or whomever you ask me to call.)”

Siri— she’s not just a search engine. She’s our favorite tech assistant with a wicked sense of humor. So, we sought out to find the weirdest, funniest questions you can ask her, or just some commands you may not know! 

Siri is surprisingly entertaining! But how does she work?

Basically, Siri is based on two technologies, Speech Recognition and Natural Language Processing. Speech Recognition listens to your voice and converts it into text. This really isn’t as simple as it sounds. Humans have a wide set of languages, tones, and accents. Five Americans might say “water” five different ways, and Siri has to know all of them.

Just ask me, a native Philadelphian. I asked her the molecular structure of “wooder” and she nailed it.

Next, Apple servers run Natural Language Processing based on the textual command. This helps Siri process the intent of what you are trying to tell her. This can be challenging because you can say essentially the same thing in a number of different ways.

Dag Kittlaus, co-founder of Siri, says the name Siri is of Scandinavian origin. It means “beautiful victory.”

For instance:

“Find me the best pizza”

“Directions to the best pizza shop”

“Best pizza near me”

All of these commands will direct you to the same search results. This, in a nutshell, is how Siri can obey your every command. Now go forth and relentlessly bother that little tech queen.

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